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If you’re heading to Valletta for a holiday, rent a car to experience Malta's breathtaking scenery and vibrant culture. Although it’s a small island, getting from one point to another is easy by car. Rent a car in Valletta to avoid crowded public buses and explore the island at your convenience.

It's your choice: Where to go in Valletta

The easiest way to reach this picturesque island is by flying. British Airways departs from Gatwick Airport, while Air Malta departs from Heathrow, and both land at the island's only airport, Malta International, in about three hours. Once you arrive at the airport, rent a car and drive to Valletta, which is about 9.5km away. If you've rented a car, collect your keys at the agency desks in the arrival hall. The information desk is on the left after exiting the baggage hall. As the airport is relatively small, you likely won't have difficulties in finding your way around. With a rental car, you can begin your adventure as soon as you land and head to one of the many Valletta hotels right away.

Things to do in Valletta

Valletta, a dazzling 16th-century fortress city and UNESCO Heritage Site, is known for its elegance. Rent a car in Valletta and explore its rich history, beauty, and culture. At St. John’s Co-Cathedral, learn about the Order of the Knights of St. John, which ruled Malta between the 16th and 19th centuries. A stop at Fort St. Elmo leads you to the National War Museum, where you can browse fascinating audiovisual exhibitions about the Maltese military's involvement in World War II. Another landmark worth visiting is the Grandmaster’s Palace. Its stately rooms, bedecked in magnificent gilt and marble, have been modified, now serving as the office of the President of Malta. If you’re a diver and fan of marine life, a trip to Valletta wouldn’t be complete without visiting Gozo Island. Explore its beautiful geological formations, sandy beaches, and clear water.

Important info about Valletta

Though tiny, Malta promises adventure. Its sunny weather year-round, with temperatures staying above zero even in winter, makes it a preferred holiday destination. The island's iconic coastline, exquisite beaches, and golden sands make it one of the Mediterranean’s most alluring islands. Go diving in its warm and clear waters and explore marine life, or stay on land and explore the rich culture. Valletta was one of the first cities to be planned in Europe and has a fantastic range of unique architecture. Its breathtaking landscapes have made it a preferred film location. For a break outside the city, discover Gozo and discover its religious sites, particularly the chapels and churches. They’re the epitome of sacred art and architecture, wonderful treasures that have defined Malta for centuries. Meditate at the retreat houses, or sit in any of the gardens or parks and enjoy the idyllic scenery.

Weather in Valletta
Country Malta
Language Maltese, English
Currency euro
Time-Zones CET
Country Code +356

Good to know

With its close historical connection with Britain, Malta shares many of its traffic rules – though they aren't necessarily adhered to, so be careful. Ensure that you have a valid driving licence as it is a requirement when renting a car. Licences issued by EU are acceptable in Malta, but if you're a non-EU resident, then you must apply for a new one. When driving, keep to the left side of the road and keep in mind that the maximum speed limit is 80km/h on open roads, 50km/h in built-up zones, and as low as 32km/h in village centres. The main roads are generally tarmacked and in good shape, and traffic is monitored and controlled by both the police and local wardens. As you're driving, look out for roadblocks occasionally set up for Breathalyzer checks. Traffic is at its peak on weekdays at 7AM-9AM and 5PM-6:30PM, so plan your trips accordingly. Public parking is usually free.

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What to taste in Valletta

Valletta is known for its cuisine. Ask at hotels in Valletta and Malta for the best local restaurants, where should look for stuffat tal-fenek, rabbit marinated in herbs and wine overnight and simmered to make a delicious stew. It's a must taste if you want to experience the best of Valletta’s culture. Also worth trying is lampuki pie, a delightful autumn dish of white fish baked with spices, capers, tomatoes, and mint in puff pastry. Stop at a coffee shop or any of the Valletta restaurants and buy a pastizzi, a pastry stuffed with ricotta, peas, corned beef, anchovy, or apple – it's Malta's official snack. And make sure to sample Malta's bread, known as some of the best in the world. You'll find it at shops near the Valletta waterfront, though keep in mind that the bread has a short shelf life! For drinks, try bajtra, a sweet and delicate prickly pear liqueur, or Kinnie, a non-alcoholic soft drink made of bitter oranges and wormwood extract.

What to bring to your friends from Valletta

Malta offers plenty of beautiful souvenirs you can bring home for friends and family. While holidaying in Valletta, look for ganuttel items, made with wire using a method passed on through the generations, or vases, candle holders, and centrepieces blown and handcrafted by seasoned artisans at Mdina Glass. At souvenir shops, you're also likely to see bizzilla; a beautiful ornamental lace made using fine thread and wooden bobbins. For gastronomes, look for prickly pear jams, conserves, and liquors, all made of the fruit that grows on the cacti you'll see along Malta's roads. At souvenir and antique shops around the city, you'll also find plenty of Maltese door knockers in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and materials, and you can have them customised. Lastly, while on an adventure around Valletta and Malta, look for filigree jewellery, intricate items made of silver or gold – they're a great embodiment of Maltese heritage.